Criterion needs to help out with the upcoming Battlefield, so Codemasters will be the ones releasing EA's racing game this year.
It's been a year since EA announced Criterion was replacing Ghost Games as the lead developer of the Need for Speed series and that they'd already started on a new game. This lead many pleased racing fans to believe, or at least hope, we'd get to play it this year. Unfortunately, that's not the case.
Laura Miele, EA's chief studios officer, says that the upcoming Need for Speed game has been delayed to 2022. There are three main reasons for this. The first one is obviously that the pandemic has slowed down development significantly. Number two is that Criterion still is helping out with the Battlefield franchise and has prioritised to finish this year's soon-to-be detailed Battlefield game. Why would this be an easy priority for EA? Because the newly acquired Codemasters already has another racing game set for this fall. Sacrificing the team's health to launch two games in the same genre on top of each other didn't sound like a good idea (Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2, anyone?), so Need for Speed has been the one chosen to push the breaks a bit.